When I found out my “dad," or the man I thought was my dad, wasn’t my dad, I sort of just felt lost. Like, was I not good enough? I wondered why I had to be pulled out of school to go do a DNA test with the man who said he loved me. I guess he just wanted to make sure… I’m sure if I were to ask him today he would say it wasn’t me, that it was between my mom and him. But that doesn’t change how things happened and how my life changed after that.

So, here is a letter to my biological dad. A man I’ve never met, a man who doesn’t know I exist, a man I thought I’d never want to meet.


To whom it may concern,

As far as I know, your name is Clarence Carr, but I’m not even 100 percent sure about that. My mom has told me a lot of things about you. She says you’re very smart, that you were funny in sort of a nerdy way and that you were an engineer in Mississippi. She told me you guys met when you were in Washington state for work. I kind of have a hard time believing all of that with my mom’s history with men. Honestly, she doesn’t really know how to pick 'em and from what she’s told me you sound like a real winner.

Some things I want to tell you — I’m alive. I’m here living life and trying to better myself in so many different ways. I travel when I have the opportunity. I go to loads of concerts and festivals. I work hard to support myself because at an early age I learned that bills come and they don’t wait for you to have the money to pay them. I recently graduated from Nebraska Indian Community College and was class valedictorian. I got into the number one school in the Midwest, Creighton University, but decided to attend Wayne State College which is a better fit for me and my goals of teaching high school English.

I know it isn’t your fault, I know you probably don’t realize the impact of not having a dad around had on my life. I watched, and continue to watch, my mom be abused by men who say they love her. I’ve never had very good male role models in my life, but I thank my lucky stars every day for those who were there to show me what it means to be a real dad. I just want you to know that it was hard for me to learn to trust, but I’m working on it.

All in all, I hope you are well. I hope this letter reaches you and you find me. I hope that you have a family and children who think you are the moon and stars. I hope you are a good dad to them and that you make them feel safe. If you have daughters, help them learn that they deserve it all. They deserve to be treated like queens, nothing less.

Truly,

Christina Coffman